I first read about the idea on Zen Habits, a fantastic blog about simplistic living. To put it plainly, as you work through your day, if an action takes you 2 minutes or less, then you should do it immediately. The strategy is an integral part of David Allen’s Getting Things Done.
How does this Simple Solution look in real life? Here are several ways I put this strategy into action every day:
Email. Instead of reading email and letting it sit in my inbox if I can answer it in this magical time frame, I do. Most emails (especially at work) warrant a very short response, so I just type, send, and delete.
De-Cluttering. If I can quickly pick up a few things before leaving a room, the house is neat the real cleaning happen faster.
Phone Calls. This only applies to phone calls to make or confirm an appointment (or checking on something else quickly). I use my short commute to get these done.
Pay a bill. When I open a bill, I can usually use Online Bill Pay to complete my payment in less than two minutes. No late bills and it is off my to-do list!
Packing Lunch. As I clean up from dinner, I put a small portion into a plastic container and voila! Lunch for the next day is made.
As I go through my day, so many unexpected curveballs fly in my direction. They come in the form of papers, emails, children, parents, and…potty-training mishaps! If I can quickly manage a few of them right away, then bigger projects are the focus of longer work periods.
I am a huge fan of cooking things in larger quantities and either freezing them, or eating them in a few different ways. Until very recently, I didn’t realize that this is “batch cooking” demystified.
I usually leave home around 7:15 am and don’t ever walk through the door before 5 pm. This leaves little to no time for meal preparation. So, if I don’t have it done in advance, enter Mr. Big Mac.
I’ve also tried to convince myself that if I shopped on the weekends, that I would be able to prepare easy meals during the week. I then found that even this wasn’t happening, because I was tired and wanted those precious few moments of playtime with Mr. Cheeks before he went to bed (at 6:45).
Because our weekends continue to be busy, I make just a few things using this method:
Meats. We buy ground beef or turkey from Costco and will cook large quantities at one time. Some of the meat will be used that week, and I will use my Seal-A-Meal to freeze the rest. In the next few weeks, I defrost it, and my meal starter is ready to go. This week’s recipe using some ground turkey is Chili from Crock Pot Girls.
Muffins and Bread. Although Mr. Cheeks would eat a waffle for every meal for the rest of his life, we do like to mix it up a little. The bread (banana, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.) are made in small loaf tins that are just the right size for our little family. I will often make these around a gift-giving time, so I can gift a few and save a few! If you are looking for an “out-of-this-world” Banana Bread recipe, head here to one of my favorite blogs.
Waffles. As I just mentioned, these are a must-have in our house for our little guy. Rather than keep Eggo in business, I make my own for pennies! In an effort to sneak in a little nutrition, I use a whole-wheat waffle recipe.
This covers our breakfasts (including a few days of cereal or oatmeal), and a few meal starters. I work outside of the home, and my husband travels for business, so this gives us a few stress-free home-cooked meals.
Hi, I’m Katie and I’m so glad you’re here! I am a middle school teacher and mom of 1 (soon to be 2!). Here you’ll find a fun mix of my thoughts on being a working mom and a little of my craftiness. Enjoy!